Kathimerini Greece Newsroom
The Omicron variant is still spreading in the US and New York health authorities are seeing an increase in the number of children being treated for Covid-19. The White House has pledged to quickly address the problem which is the lack of diagnostic tests in the country.
The New York Department of Health "closely monitors the growing trend of Covid-19-related pediatric care," the statement said.
"One of the current problems is that (the tests) will not be fully available to everyone before January. But we are dealing with the problem, which will be resolved soon," -Fauci
"The biggest increase is in New York City," where imports quadrupled in the week beginning December 19, compared with the week beginning December 5, the statement added. Half of the admissions concern children under 5 years of age who have not reached the age to be vaccinated.
The number of Covid-19 cases in the United States continues to rise, with about 190,000 new infections daily, averaging over the past seven days, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The Omicron variant and the festive season, which are synonymous with travel and family gatherings, have also boosted demand for tests in the US. In some areas, however, they are hard to find.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House's pandemic adviser, assured that the problem would be resolved quickly.
"One of the current problems is that (the tests) will not be fully available to everyone before January. But we are dealing with the problem, which will be resolved soon," he told ABC television.
President Joe Biden announced last week that $500 million worth of tests would be purchased from federal authorities and distributed free of charge. But those tests will not be delivered before January, and this has drawn strong criticism of the White House's management of the pandemic and the fact that for weeks its strategy has focused mainly on vaccination.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki was questioned on December 6, a few days after the first case of Omicron was found in the United States, about the difficulty many faced in getting tested. At the time, she had replied ironically: "Should we send a free test to all Americans?"